SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A memorial service was held in Sioux Falls Sunday to remember the late James, or Jim, Abourezk, who died in February at the age of 92.

It was a celebration of life that included music, storytelling and remembrance. Abourezk represented South Dakota in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in the 1970s.

Abdeen Jabara, who spoke at the service, says he worked with Abourezk as part of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Abourezk founded the committee in 1980.

“Jim meant a great deal to me. He was not only a friend, he was a mentor. He represented what I believe is the best of America,” Jabara said.

Jabara, who lives in New York City, made the trip to South Dakota for the service.

“It was a very great occasion for me to be here today and to see these people,” Jabara said.

Jim’s daughter Alya Abourezk says hearing all the stories was incredible.

“To be able to be reminded of that and just reminded of how many lives that he touched and impacted and how it’s lasted them throughout their life is just so special,” she said.

Alya says she and her dad were very close.

“He supported me throughout high school and come to every single one of my band concerts, piano recitals, dance recitals. He was just my mentor, and just my dad, my closest friend, companion,” she said.

A common theme developed based on the stories each speaker told about Abourezk, and Alya summed it up pretty well.

“Very unique guy. Definitely nobody like him. So kind-hearted and caring, he cares about every single person that he would meet. Very passionate and driven, and just stood up for anyone that he met and really cared about just people at large,” she said.

The event started at 1:30 Sunday afternoon and lasted about two hours. The family did have a private service after Abourezk died. He is buried at Black Hills National Cemetery.